Trade Wars

SE Cupp: How Biden cleverly claimed Republican ground

President Biden has waited decades to deliver a State of the Union address, and by all accounts, it went off without a hitch on Tuesday night.

Here we are, in 2022, in the midst of what could be a new Cold War, with Vladimir Putin’s tanks rolling into a sovereign nation as Biden speaks.

Few people in the House chamber wore masks, finally showing faces that had been covered for nearly two years.

But nothing was more surreal than the complete reversal of roles that two major American political parties have undergone in just a few short years.

If you had lived on a desert island for the past 20 years and been let loose on Biden’s speech, you might have assumed we still had a Republican president.

From his anti-Russian bombings to his “defund the police” rallying cry, the Democratic president has done little to hide from what has traditionally been considered conservative territory.

It’s because he didn’t have to. The Republicans, thanks to former President Trump, have completely ceded the ground that the Grand Old Party proudly possessed.

Start with Russia. Unlike Trump, who has spent much of his presidency defending and envying Putin, Biden has been tough on the Russian leader from day one, acknowledging what the rest of the world already knows: that he’s a bad guy, a dictator, no one to admire.

Then there is NATO. Traditionally heralded by the GOP, Trump had little affection or use for the international body. He repeatedly tried to leave NATO – which Putin would have liked.

So when Biden promised “The United States and our allies will defend every inch of territory that is NATO territory…every square inch…” it was as much a rebuke of Trump and a throwback to Reagan as a message for Putin.

Turning to the economy, no issue has animated the Conservative movement more over the decades than debt and deficit reduction.

But it was Biden who not only promised to cut the deficit, but bragged that he was the only president “to ever cut the deficit by more than $1 trillion in a single year.”

If only Republicans still cared, it could be their talking point. But, unsurprisingly, under Trump the deficit exploded and the long-held conservative principle magically disappeared.

One of the most shocking moments of the night was hearing Biden promote American manufacturing. “More cars and semiconductors in America; more infrastructure and innovation in America; instead of relying on foreign supply chains, let’s do it in America.

For all of Trump’s bluster around Making America Great Again, his “Buy America” ​​campaign has achieved next to nothing and his trade wars have hurt many domestic manufacturers.

Finally, on policing, Biden likely rubbed some progressives the wrong way when he staunchly defended law enforcement. “Let’s not abandon our streets, or choose between safety and equal justice. We should all agree: the answer is not to defund the police. It’s to fund the police.

For all of Trump’s ‘back to blue’ rhetoric, he not only encouraged an insurrection on Capitol Hill that saw his supporters attack police, but in leaving office he tried to get Congress to cut 244 million dollars in state and local law enforcement. funding.

Biden’s speech was not just from another era, but from another party. That the Republicans under Trump ceded so many good principles and talking points to the Democrats is a colossal failure. But Republicans will forever pay the price for supporting Trump — until they don’t.

SE Cupp is the host of “SE Cupp Unfiltered” on CNN.

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